I’m not sure if you’ve been following the press around Eddie McGuire’s response to the Collingwood Football Club’s report into racism. In case you missed it, McGuire was reported as declaring “This is a historic and proud day for Collingwood Football Club” as they adopted a “leadership position on the most fundamental of rights equality: to be who you are based on your abilities and character and nothing else.” An interesting spin which seems to gloss over the reports findings that the club culture has had some serious failings in this area. Understandably, McGuire’s response has attracted a level of criticism.
Now, I’m not writing to discuss the woes of the Collingwood Club, but rather I was prompted to think about how we can do exactly the same thing. So often we can be tempted to put a “spin on our sin”, casting it as a least understandable (and so excusable), if not actually a virtue.
“I’m not rude and insensitive, I’m just committed to speaking the truth directly.”
“I didn’t lie, I’m committed to loving them and telling the truth would have hurt their feelings.”
“I’m not a gossip, I’m just concerned that people know the facts (so they can pray).”
This is why it is so important not to go first and foremost to what we might think and feel, but to what God says. It is his word that reveals how he calls us to live. It is the gospel of our Lord Jesus that provides grace and forgiveness for when we fail. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts and encourages us to live “worthy of the gospel”. It is the security we have in Christ that means that we can confront our worst actions honestly, dealing with them before God and others, providing a real foundation for reconciliation and honest relationship.
It is in the gospel alone that we can find all we need to live life without the “spin”: a life that honours God and blesses others.
Pastor | Trinity Church Brighton
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